Konta wins fourth career title at LTA’s Viking Open Nottingham

Johanna Konta lifted the fourth WTA title of her career and first on grass at the LTA’s Viking Open Nottingham after defeating fourth seed Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-1 in just one hour.  

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Johanna Konta of Great Britain holds the Viking Open Trophy after she beats Shuai Zhang of China at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 13, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 13: Johanna Konta of Great Britain holds the Viking Open Trophy after she beats Shuai Zhang of China at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 13, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)

Konta became the first British woman to win a WTA singles title on home soil since Sue Barker triumphed in Brighton in 1981.  

Having finished runner-up in Nottingham on two previous occasions, Konta was determined to make it third time lucky and dominated the match from start to finish – dropping only three games on her way to victory.  

After lifting her first Viking Open Nottingham title, Konta said: “I don’t take this for granted by any means – I’ve lost in the last few finals that I’ve played and it’s very hard to win tournaments so I know how lucky I am to be here with the winning trophy.  

“I love Nottingham, I love this Centre Court, it’s a beautiful court to play on and thank you everyone for coming out and supporting.  

“This trophy is called the Elena Baltacha trophy – she hasn’t been with us for a number of years but still to this day she was a massive influence on me as a young girl in this country. For me, winning this trophy means that much more and I just wanted to say thank you to her.”  

There was more British success in the men’s doubles final played on Saturday, as Liverpool’s Ken Skupski was crowned champion alongside Australian partner, Matt Reid.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 12:  Ken Skupski (Right) and Mat Reid: Winners of the Viking Open men's doubles on day eight at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 12, 2021 in Nottingham, England.
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 12: Ken Skupski (Right) and Mat Reid: Winners of the Viking Open men’s doubles on day eight at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 12, 2021 in Nottingham, England.

Skupski and Reid came from a set behind to defeat second seed Matthew Ebden and John-Patrick Smith 4-6, 7-5, 10-6.

Skupski – who defeated Reid and Smith in the 2017 final in Nottingham alongside his brother Neal – lifted the 32nd ATP Challenger doubles title of his career and will now head to London for the cinch Championships.

Frances Tiafoe won the ATP Challenger tournament after beating fellow countryman Denis Kudla 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and 10 minutes. 

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Frances Tiafoe of United States holds the Mens Singles Vikings Open Trophy after he beats Denis Kudla of United States at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 13, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 13: Frances Tiafoe of United States holds the Mens Singles Vikings Open Trophy after he beats Denis Kudla of United States at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 13, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)

Tiafoe – who has known Kudla since he was four years old and trained at the same club in Maryland – demonstrated the form that saw him reach the top 30 in 2019, putting on a masterclass in grass court tennis en route to lifting his sixth ATP Challenger singles title. 

After lifting the Ross Hutchins trophy, Tiafoe said: “I needed it bad this week and I’m really happy to be here.  

“I wouldn’t be the guy I am today without Denis, I’ve been trying to chase you since I was a kid. It feels good to beat you today but I’ve always looked up to you and I happy that we’re still able to keep a good friendship.” 

In the WTA doubles final earlier in the day, Lyudmyla Kichenok and Makoto Ninomya defeated second seeds Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders 6-4, 6-7 (3), 10-8. The pair held off an inspired comeback from the Americans to lift their first title as a team.  

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Makoto Ninomya of Japan and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine hold the Viking Open Trophy after they win the women’s doubles final between Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 13, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 13: Makoto Ninomya of Japan and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine hold the Viking Open Trophy after they win the women’s doubles final between Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 13, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)

Tickets for this week’s Nottingham Trophy at the Nottingham Tennis Centre are still available at www.lta.org.uk. The event will feature another ATP Challenger tournament, as well as an ITF W100 women’s tournament. 

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